You Earned your Associate Degree in Nursing, Now What?

Written by Madison School of Healthcare On Thursday, 27 July 2017. Posted in Healthcare Insights, Nursing

You Earned your Associate Degree in Nursing, Now What?

So, you’ve just finished your associate degree in nursing (ADN). Congratulations! Completing a degree in nursing is no small feat. But what comes next? Having an ADN will allow you to start a career in nursing, but there are opportunities to continue your education and grow your career as well. Here’s what you can expect, from getting your RN license, to starting your first job, to earning additional degrees, as you take the next step in as a professional nurse.

Joining the Workforce

After you have passed your NCLEX-RN and received your license, there are a number of nursing jobs open to RNs with an ADN. Licensed nurses with at least an associate degree are usually qualified for staff nurse, entry-level positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To give you an idea of what positions may be available to you, Indeed.com recently highlighted the following positions as the top opportunities for nurses with an ADN:

  • Registered nurse in a hospital
  • Outpatient care nurse
  • Personal care nurse
  • Physician’s office nurse
  • Nursing care facility nurse

However, it’s important to note that if you want to advance your nursing career, you likely will have to pursue additional degrees and/or continuing education programs in the future.

Expanding your Education

While an ADN can get your foot in the door, depending on your career goals, you may need to consider expanding your education down the road. For many nurses, a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) is the next logical step for continuing their education and career — nurses with a BSN have some opportunities that RNs don’t, such as working in public health or becoming a nurse educator.

The good news is that earning your BSN after completing an associate degree can be accomplished through an RN to BSN program. This allows you to apply knowledge (and academic credits) you already have to a program uniquely designed for professionals in your position. You can even go back to school while continuing to work your existing nursing job. In fact, most RNs continue working while they earn their BSN.

Considering earning your RN to BSN degree? Learn more about Madison School of Healthcare’s online RN to BSN program.

About the Author

Madison School of Healthcare

Our community comes first – explore our student- and alumni-contributed content to get the inside look at online learning, healthcare careers, and beyond. We share real perspectives from healthcare students, professionals, and industry experts to keep you up to date on the healthcare space and set you up for success in your career.